Tuesday, June 22, 2010

(2) Early Life Of Muhammad Before Becoming The Messenger Of God

By Sodium

Perhaps,the best way to provide a clear picture of the early life of Muhammad,before he became the messenger of God,would be to do it in a chronological order:

570 A.D was the year in which Muhammad was born in the city of Mecca. His father was Abdullah bin Al-Muttalib and his mother was Amina bint Wahb. His father died at age of 25 and while Amina was pregnant with Muhammad. His mother took care of him until Muhammad reached the age of six when she took him to the city of Yathrib, (Medina now), an oasis town, approximately 280 miles north of Mecca. Amina, his mother wanted to stay with relatives so that Muhammad could pay visits to his father grave in Yathrib.

575 A.D is the year when Muhammad became an orphan, since his mother died on their way back to Mecca. In order to comprehend the difficulty in traveling 280 miles at that time is to remember that the travel was done on camels. She was buried in a small town called Abha, a place located between Mecca and Yathrib. Halima, his nursing maid took him to his grandfather, Abdul Al-Muttalib who was the most respected elder in Mecca,and who "presided over Mecca's Council of Elders". His grandfather was happy to have him as a substitute for the loss of his own son,Muhammad's father. From his grandfather, Muhammad learned the fundamental principles of statecraft.

578 A.D is the year when Muhammad's grandfather died. Muhammad was about eight years old. Muhammad had ended up in care of his uncle, Abu Talib. Abu Talib was a rather powerful figure in Mecca and hence Muhammad was under the protection of his father's brother, Abu Talib, for many years. It seems to me that because of his loss of his father, mother and grandfather, at such a tender age and living so many years as an orphan the following verses appeared in the Qur 'an after Muhammed became the Messenger of God:

"Amma Al-Yateema Fla Tunhar",translation:

Amma means but.

Al-Yateema means the orphan.

Fla means do not,or better yet, you must not.

Tunhar has several meanings: reject, belittle or insult or condemn.

The net and acceptable translation is the following:

"But the orphan you must not reject, belittle, insult or condemn".

In another verses of the Qur'an, the following already translated Sorah,(Picture or description) about the orphan:

"Did God not find you an orphan and give you shelter and care? And He found you wandering and gave you guidance. And He found you in need, and made you independent".

580-594 A.D. those are the years Muhammad spent as a teen ager, in which he worked as a shepherd to help his uncle, Abu Talib, who was a merchant of modest means. He also used to travel with his uncle as far away from Mecca as Syria, in business trips. The older merchants observed his honesty and conscientious behaviors and as a result they started calling him "Al-Ameen" which meant/means the honest one or the one worth trusting. The following story about Muhammad as a young man may attest to the intelligence and fairness of "Al-Ameen":

One day, after cleaning the Ka'b'a, the tribes of Mecca could not agree on which tribe should have the honor and prestige for raising the black stone to the roof of the Ka'b'a and they could not agree. Some of the wise men of the tribes suggested that in order to avoid bloodshed between the tribes, all tribes accept the verdict of the first man appears on entering the steps of the Ka'b'a. They all agreed and they all anxiously waited. All of the sudden "Al-Ameen",Muhammad appeared entering the Ka'ba's facilities complex. Every tribe was pleased it was "Al-Ameen" who would decide which tribe should raise the stone to the top of the Ka'ba. The leaders of the various tribes told "Al-Ameen" what they had already agreed and would accept his decision. Muhammad,"Al-Ameen" asked for time to think. Given. After a while he asked the leaders to bring him a carpet large enough for the purpose he had in mind. The carpet was brought. And then he asked the stone to be rolled into the middle of the carpet. It was done. Then he asked every tribe to choose one of its men to hold the carpet by part of its edges. Every tribe chose their own man.Then Muhammad asked them to raise the carpet, carrying the stone, all together and at one upward movement to the top of the Ka'ba. So it was done and the bloodshed was avoided and every tribe was pleased and honored by "Al-Ameen"'s intelligent decision.

594 A.D When Muhammad hit early 20 in age he was employed by a wealthy Meccan widow to handle her trading caravans from Mecca to Syria and from Syria to Mecca. The widow's name was Khadija bint Khawalayd. He always brought profits to her. She was impressed by his honesty and good character, she fell in love with him and eventually she proposed marriage and he agreed and they were married in 595. He was then 25 year old and she was 40 year old and they loved each other so dearly. They had six children: two sons who died in infancy and four daughters. They prospered as Mecca prospered.

As it may be seen that Muhammad's life was a happy one and really needed no religious act to disturb it, except that Arabia was in a state of religious flux and a lot of opposing religious forces were in contentions that did not allow the serenity Muhammad,"Al-Ameen",was looking for. About the age of 40, Muhammad started looking for the serenity he felt he needed. He found such a serenity in solitude and meditations in a cave of mount Hir'a, just a walking distance outside Mecca.

Operative words to remember from this rather lengthy essay are the following words:

Mount Hir'a.
Khadija,Muhammad's wife.
Yathrib, (Medina,now)

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